The word “hostel” is synonymous with partying and (for the slightly paranoid) a certain series of slasher movies. While Iuckily I can only relate my hostel experiences with the former, and have quite enjoyed my time in most hostels, it’s hard to be a backpacker without encountering at least one unfavorable situation at any given hostel.
From loud snorers to loud sex, here’s my top ten hostel pet peeves. Which ones are on your list?
1. People who snore loudly.
Maybe some people can’t help but snore loudly but it’s really frustrating when there’s that one guy who snores like a lawnmower and everyone else in the room is tossing and turning. As there are designated smoking sections in restaurants, they should also have a room for loud snorers.
2. Turning on the lights in the middle of the night.
This is the person who gets back to the hostel after a night out, and despite the room full of sleeping people, disrespectfully turns the room lights on, and spends the next 20 minutes noisily getting ready for bed, and effectively waking up everyone in the room. I know whenever I get back to my hostel room at the break of dawn, I usually use the light from my cell phone. Or sometimes I just blindly find my way around in the dark, and find myself with a few bruises in the morning. Better bruises than enemies, I’d say.
I find that when my stuff do get stolen, it’s never in the dorm room, but rather the kitchen or luggage rooms where I guess it’s more of a free for all. Also, when things do get stolen, it’s never anything expensive, but rather small items that tend to go by unnoticed. This one time I had my bag in the luggage room, and later when I went to check into my dorm room, I noticed that my shampoo disappeared, although my MacBook was still safely in the bag (not that I’m complaining!)
4. Wet laundry.
Rather than paying a few dollars for the dryer, a lot of travelers hang their wet clothes on the side of the bunk beds to air dry. I know I’ve done it a few times, especially in the east coast of Australia where it’s so sunny, it dries almost instantly anyway. What really annoys me is the people whose wet clothes take up the whole room. It’s very unfortunate if you’re the poor traveller who checked in last, and is stuck on the top bunk with wet underwear dangling next to your face.
5. People singing in a foreign language.
People singing is generally a sign that they’re drunk. Singing in English is ok since it’s an universal language, and if everyone else is equally drunk, it usually leads to a fun mini musical rendition in the hostel room. Singing in a foreign language however, is a totally different story. This one time, there were these three Dutch girls who wouldn’t stop singing, and pretty much forced everyone else out of the room due to annoyance. They were also guilty of committing pretty much every crime on this list, to the point where I ended up going down to reception to complain (and I almost never complain about anything). The receptionist guy pretty much just told me that they’re unattractive and overweight so I shouldn’t let them get to me, which didn’t really help solve anything (needless to say, none of them partook in number 6, which is pretty relieving).
6. Loud sex.
If one really must have sex in the hostel, there are way better places to do it than on the bunk beds in a room of 10 people. Or in situations where for some reason it’s absolutely necessary to have sex in a room with 10 people, it’s not ok to make excessive noises in the middle of the night. C’mon now, we’re not shooting a porno, there’s no need to impress.
7. Wet washroom floors.
This is the worst when there’s a washroom attached to the room because sometimes the water starts to seep into the room and well…I don’t think I really need to describe that in detail. I recommend everyone to always bring a pair of flip flops when backpacking, and to never set foot in a communal washroom without it. If you go barefoot, I’m sure you’ll get some incurable disease where the only solution is to chop off your feet (highly probable if you’re travelling in a developing country).
8. Annoying drunks.
This is the group that barges into your hostel room and proceeds to flirt with you despite the fact that you show as much interest in them as an outdated travel guide from 1756 (completely useless, no transit maps).
9. Early sleepers.
Yea, I know some people can be jet lagged, or have to work early the next day, but it seems inconsiderate when people go to sleep at 9pm and proceed to shut off all the lights. I guess this is the opposite of pet peeve #2, but it can be equally annoying if you’re changing to go out, and only when you’re at the bar do you realize that you’re wearing different colour socks and that alarmingly, you kind of resemble Lady Gaga.
10. Super sensitive room cards.
You know the ones that you swipe to open up the room? There’s this one hostel I stayed at where the card deactivated itself every 10 minutes, forcing you to go down to reception to have it reset. Every time I went down to reception, there would be a long line of people wanting to reactivate their cards. Sometimes, the elevator up to the room takes longer than 10 minutes, which promptly deactivated your card even before you reach your room. This can lead to an endless limbo…